What Happens When You Choose Dollar-Menu Branding?

What Happens When You Choose Dollar-Menu Branding?

$99 Logo Design! Free Taglines! Cheap/Free Web Design! With all of the dirt cheap options available, it’s a wonder that graphic designers and branding agencies are still in business. With the Super Bowl now past, sites like Squarespace and Wix.com advertised their services to business owners across the nation, at no small price.

Obviously, these sites must be successful if they can afford to pay $4 Million for 30 seconds of time, right?

Of course, these services make money. McDonalds makes money. But would you take a first date there? This is the experience that a customer faces when they see your brand. Your brand is the first impression you make on a customer. Don’t buy a dollar-menu brand.

Spec Work, Cheap Work: The Bane of Brand Existence

Get a logo/brand name in under 24 hours, for less than $100! These services are fun to look at, for little more reason than laughing at the questionable ideas pitched. From spec work to $5 Logos, these don’t work.

Spec work is anything done on a speculative basis. This, according to AIGA, includes pro bono work, design contests, and even internships. Compare this to any other industry.

  • Ask a sommelier for a wine that you’ll only pay for if you enjoy it (Spec Work)
  • Ask the stock boy at Wal-Mart for wine advice (Fiverr, Nineteen Dollar Logos, etc.)
  • Ask 30 random people for their favorite wines using nothing but the term “I need a wine.” Pay the recommender of your selected wine. (Logo Design/Brand Naming Contests)

Spec work doesn’t work for a multitude of reasons. First of all, how much time did you spend with the designers? How many different variations, fonts, color schemes, et cetera did you receive?

Good branding costs money because there is a specific process. This process takes time.

The average process to come up with a good brand for a company that exceeds expectations is as follows:

  1. Category Research
  2. Target Market Analysis
  3. Competitor Analysis
  4. Brainstorming
  5. Categorizing Ideas
  6. Idea Generation
  7. Ranking
  8. Screening for Trademark Violations
  9. Narrow Down
  10. Selection

For more information on how spec work devalues an industry, view the NO!SPEC statement and statements from American Institute of Graphic Artists on spec work.

Design Your Own Logo… With a Logo Generator

One of the design crimes of 2014 had to have been the Squarespace logo designer. Within 24 hours of launch, designers took to social media to criticize the service. Co.Design offered a nice writeup of the service, and the designers’ reactions to the self-designed logo generator.

Many other services allow you to do similarly to Squarespace, shared by accounting software for small businesses FreshBooks.

Just think. A nice stock image to sum up your company, your lifeblood, your pride and joy.

Final Thoughts

Your name, tagline, and logo are the first thing customers will see, and in turn think of. You’re just as likely to find a good domain name on dumb.domains or a good name (and logo) on the Hipster Business Name Generator than you are to find one using crowdsourcing.

Branding takes time, research, and most importantly skill. Remember, you wouldn’t take a first date to McDonalds, and you shouldn’t take on a dollar-menu brand.

Looking for more branding gaffes? Check out the following brand fails:

Don’t let your company fall victim to another year with a bad brand. Contact IDeas BIG today.

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